CRUISING & HOLIDAYS IN COSTA VERDE, BRAZILMarch 4 2005 at 2:23 PM
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As I am taking my evening stroll, barefoot along the beach, listening to the rushing sound of the Atlantic swell, I can't stop smiling when I think about the winter weather back home in cold Norway. Here I can go for a sail or a swim whenever I wish all year round, and I mostly walk around wearing nothing but sandals and shorts, stripped to the waist, while enjoying my daily caipirinha at a price cheaper than a Coke. WELCOME TO PARADISE!!
Here youll find hundreds of beautiful beaches, each one with its own distinctive character and personality. Full of life or romantic settings with whispering palms, with beaches stretching towards the horizon, or little stripes of sand hidden between great lava rocks surrounded by palm trees, with Atlantic seas swells rolling over the white sands. Urgent or silent they are ideal for surfing or just idling in the sun.The great variation in the Northern coast area (Litoral Norte) of the state Sao Paulo, makes it one of the most beautiful areas on this earth. There are hundreds of beaches and magnificent islands on the stretch between Ubatuba, Caraguatuba, Ilhabela and San Sebastiao to the South and Paraty - Angra dos Reis - Rio de Janeiro to the North.
How can you ignore crystal clear waterfalls and incredible walking paths through the "Mata Atlantica" forest? How can you overlook towns full of gourmet restaurants and bars, with lots of attractions and a nightlife that you will never forget? How can you forget the privileged opportunities you have with sports and activities of all kinds? And the best thing is that anyone can enjoy this area 12 months a year, here where the temperature swings between 18C in the winter and up to 39C in the summer. The weather is actually more stable in the winter (our summer). You can choose your accommodation between camping sites, first class hotels, cosy small "pousadas" (small individual hotels) and simple self worked "shalets". Food and drinks are also incredible cheap here, whether you wish to go to a restaurant or to one of the many supermarkets with an incredible selection of merchandise. You can eat at a restaurant and pay pr kilo!! Often it does not cost more than US$ 1.50 per person. Freshly baked hot rolls and bread, you can get almost anywhere. This also goes for the very popular drink caipirinha which consists of cachacha (US$ 0,70 1/1 bottle), limes and sugar. A fine Brazilian wine you can get for no more than US$ 2, and a whole bottle of Seagers Dry Gin for no more than US$ 2,50.
Ubatuba is located about mid-way between the two big cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and also has a very good road system along the coast from the seaport town of Santos. Ubatuba is famous for being the rich mans playground and it has a small airport here for private planes which there are many of here. Most of the beaches and hotels are used by the regular citizen and youths from the bigger cities, but there are also lots of magnificent, luxurious private holiday houses available in remote areas for rent. The coast between Rio and Santos is a magnificent area for the boating people, with calm seas, hundreds of islands and beaches where you can find exotic anchorages, or you can find a mooring in one of the better yachting clubs, which there are not so many of at this moment. Anchoring overnight is not a normal practice here. The coastal area swarms with fish of all kinds. The inland forest is very beautiful and holds lots of great nature experiences. Right off the shore where we live, dolphins tumble about in the great Atlantic. We have also been on walking tours in the "Mata Atlantica" forest and seen many great waterfalls and little bathing pools inside the jungle. There are mosquitos here, but if you take your precautions and for example take Bvitamins daily and rub yourself with mosquito-repellent, they wont be a problem at all.
Brazil has the largest cultural diversity in Latin America and maybe even, the world. There are over 300 million people living in harmony unlike other Latin American countries. Brazil has the richest natural resources and opportunities in terms of business and quality of living but it is sometimes important to remain away from the main cities if security is important, as in any country. People come here from all corners of the globe and most of them, from Asia, Europe and other South American countries, stay, settle and start their own businesses or simply retire. There is a magic to Brazil that is inexplicable and that is not just referring to carnival! The music, the smiles, the movements and smells. One always feels protected here, warm and isolated from the outside world. Whenever we travel, the sight of Brazilian soil calms us and the fact that few people know of the wonders of this country, gives an even larger feeling of protection. Like a well kept secret. It is often said that this is the best country to live if you are a child, an elderly person or someone with any disability. For Brazilians, people in need are meant to be looked after and dealt with patience and kindness. Even the health and social services are much better than people believe, especially in smaller towns, even better than in the US or some parts of Europe.
Brazil is divided into three remarkably different cultural influences. In the North, there is the Amazon forest, the Indian and African with dark skin, sparkling smiles and welcoming voices; the most beautiful exotic beaches, towns, cities imaginable. An incredible, head-turning mix of races found nowhere else in the world. In the central (east) part of the country, you have the capital and political centre and city , Brasilia. The industrial, financial and business centre, Sao Paulo; and one of the worlds most famous cities, Rio, a mixture of modern architecture with tropical forests and beaches, all side by side. Then in the South, a little Germany and Austria mixed with Italy and Portugal; the fishing towns and markets; the green hills sometimes topped with snow and a landscape that reminds us of those found in Europe. Once you visit Brazil and see all this for yourself, the diversity, the people, the climate and differences between cities and states where nothing is the same, no one looks the same, you find yourself in a magical atmosphere away from the riots, wars, political and economic problems of the modern world. Brazil is difficult to leave or forget.